Daniel Gunn

Distinguished Professor

  • Department: Comparative Literature and English
  • Office: 
    G-111
  • Office Hours: 
    Mondays 13h00-13h30 and Thursdays 16h00-16h30

See Courses >>

Professor Gunn joined The American University of Paris full-time in 1989 after completing his doctoral work at The University of Sussex and after four years of teaching at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He currently teaches courses from Shakespeare through the novel of the French revolution, to post-war fiction, concentrating on the literatures of Britain, France, and Italy.



Gunn has research interests principally in twentieth-century European literature, fiction especially, and has specialized in the work of Marcel Proust and Samuel Beckett. He regularly reviews works of fiction and texts on literary theory for the TLS. He writes and publishes fiction, and is particularly interested in the area between fiction and non-fiction. Because of his activity in this field, he occasionally supervises student theses in creative writing.

 He is the founder and director the AUP’s Center for Writers & Translators, and is Editor of the Cahiers Series.

He is the Paris director of the correspondence of Samuel Beckett, an international project based in Emory University, whose aim was the publication of a selection of Beckett’s voluminous correspondence. The four-volume edition, published by Cambridge University Press, was completed with the publication in September 2016 of the fourth and final volume, covering the years 1966 to 1989. He is currently working on compiling an edition of Samuel Beckett’s postcards, and has been appointed Editor of the letters of Muriel Spark.



Education/Degrees

  • D.Phil. The University of Sussex
  • MA in Twentieth Century Literature, The University of Sussex
  • BA, The University of Sussex

Publications

Books
  • October 2016: Samuel Beckett, Lettres III, 1957-1966. Gallimard. (French translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume III.)
  • September 2016 (as Editor, and author of the Introduction): The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Vol IV, 1966-1989.
  • November 2015 : Samuel Beckett, Lettres II, 1941-1965: Les Années Godot. Gallimard. (French translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume II.)
  • October 2014: Samuel Beckett, Ein Unglück, das man bis zum Ende verteidigen muß : Briefe 1941-1956. Suhrkamp Verlag. (German translation of The letters of Samuel Beckett Volume II.)
  • The Emperor of Ice-Cream. A novel (Seagull Books, December 2014).
  • The Letters of Samuel Beckett Vo lume III, 1957-1965 (Editor, and author of Introduction to the volume). (Cambridge University Press, October 2014).
  • Samuel Beckett, Lettres I: 1929-1940. Gallimard, May 2013. (French translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume I.)
  • Samuel Beckett, Weitermachen ist mehr, als ich tun kann – Briefe 1929-1940. Suhrkamp Verla, February 2013. (German translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume I.)
  • “Samuel Beckett” in The Great Shakespeareans Volume XII, edited by Adrian Poole (Continuum Books / Bloomsbury, 2012).
  • The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume II: 1941-1956. Edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn, and Lois Overbeck (Cambridge University Press, September 2011).
  • Samuel Beckett, Weitermachen ist mehr, als ich tun kann – Briefe 1929-1940. (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2013). (German translation of The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume I.)
  • The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume I: 1929-1940. Edited by Martha Dow, Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck, with Dan Gunn and George Craig (Cambridge University Press, March 2009).
  • Wool-Gathering or How I Ended Analysis. Brunner-Routledge, May 2002.
  • Body Language. A novel. Mainstream Publishing, May 2002. Nominated for the Saltire Literary Award as Scottish Book of the Year.
  • Almost You. A novel. Quartet Books, April 1994.
  • Psychoanalysis and Fiction: an exploration of literary and psychoanalytic borders. Cambridge University Press, 1988. Paperback edition, C.U.P., May, 1990.
  • French translation (by Jean-Michel Rabaté): Analyse et fiction: aux frontières de la littérature et de la psychanalyse. Denoël (collection ‘L'Espace Analytique’), October 1990.
Selected translations
  • Translator's Blues by Franco Nasi. Translation of La Malinconia del traduttore. The Cahiers Series no. 26, September 2015.
  • The Story Smuggler by Georgi Gospodinov. Translation with Kristina Kovacheva for The Cahiers Series no.29, October 2016.
  • Diplomat, Actor, Translator, Spy. Translation of Bernard Turle’s Le traducteur-orchestre (Cahiers Series no.19).
  • Reads Like a Novel. Translation of Daniel Pennac's Comme un roman. Quartet Books (London), 1994. Nominated for the 1996 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Selected articles
  • “The Groves of Academe”. In International Literary Quarterly, September 2016.
  • “Excess of Language”: on Stéphane Lambert, Avant Godot, and Leland de la Durantaye, Beckett’s Art of Mismaking. In TLS, 16 September 2016.
  • “More Vim than Spunk”: on Jo Baker, A Country Road, A Tree. In TLS, 8 July 2016.
  • “The Lightness of Muriel Spark’s Novels”. Chapter in Hidden Possibilities: Essays in Honour of Muriel Spark, ed. Robert Hosmer, University of Notre Dame Press, 2014.
  • “Beckett’s letters to Barbara Bray”. In The Guardian, 27 September 2014.
  • “Recognition and Return”: on the painting of William Pownall. In William Pownall, Hydra Press Ulm, 2014.
  • “Très vif, très fort”: review of Marguerite Duras, Oeuvres complètes (Pléiade, 4 volumes); L’Amour (translated by Kazin Ali and Libby Murphy); Laure Adler, Marguerite Duras; Christiane Blot-Labarrère, Album Marguerite Duras. In TLS, October 2014.
  • “Diary”. In the Scottish Review of Books, November 2014.
  • “The Lightness of Muriel Spark’s Novels”. Chapter in Hidden Possibilities: Essays in Honour of Muriel Spark, ed. Robert Hosmer, University of Notre Dame Press, 2014.
  • “Beckett’s letters to Barbara Bray”. In The Guardian, 27 September 2014. “Recognition and Return”: on the painting of William Pownall. In William Pownall, Hydra Press Ulm, 2014.
  • Review of Marguerite Duras, Oeuvres complètes (Pléiade, 4 volumes); L’Amour (translated by Kazin Ali and Libby Murphy); Laure Adler, Marguerite Duras; Christiane Blot-Labarrère, Album Marguerite Duras. In TLS, October 2014.
  • Review of Barbara Cassin, La Nostalgie: Quand donc est-on chez soi? In Francosphères, Vol. 2, No. 2, 178-181.
  • Interview conducted with Lydia Davis: The Quarterly Conversation, March 2014.
  • “Barbara Bray”: entry on translator and radio producer Barbara Bray in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, October 2013.
  • Interview with Rhys Tranter on editing Samuel Beckett’s letters: The Quarterly Conversation, March 2013.
  • “Pneumatic Neumann: Inside the Anim”: on Max Neumann. In Literature and Music, 2, Spring 2013.
  • “Superhuman Organization”: on Patrick White, Happy Valley. In TLS, 25 January 2013.
  • “Devil Dances”: on László Krasznahorkai, Sátántango. In TLS, 1 June 2012.
  • “And Then the Letting Go…”: on Tim Parks, Teach Us To Sit Still. In TLS, 20 & 27 August 2010. Reprinted in French translation in Books 21, March 2011.
  • “Improper Intellect”: on Geoff Dyer, Working the Room – Essays and Reviews: 1999-2020. In TLS, 7 January 2011.
  • “In Flight”: on Jean Echenoz, Des Eclairs. In TLS, 5 November 2010.
  • “Natura non Contristatur.” On the art of Lanfranco Quadrio. In Natura non Contristatur, Editions Grande Finale, September 2010.
  • “ ‘It is the Fate of Europe to Become Naples.’ Curzio Malaparte and the Plague of Benevolent Interventionism”. In The International Literary Quarterly, Issue 1, November 2007
  • "Until the gag is chewed": on Samuel Beckett's correspondence. In TLS, 21 April, 2006.
  • “Aharon Appelfeld”, “Gabriel Josipovici”, “Georges Perec”. In Jewish Writers of the Twentieth Century, Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.
  • “Varieties of Scottish Gothic: James Hogg and Muriel Spark”. In Lo specchio dei mondi impossibili: Il fantastico nella letteratura e nel cinema. Edited by Cristian Bragaglio et. Al.. Firenze: Aletheia, 2001.
  • “’Tis no Time to Play Now”: on Deborah Cartmell, Interpreting Shakespeare on Screen; Douglas Brode, Shakespeare in the Movies: From the Silent Era to Shakespeare in Love; Mark Thornton Burnett & Ramona Wray Burnett, eds., Shakespeare, Film, Fin de Siècle; Russell Jackson, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Film. In TLS, 7 December, 2001.
  • “Peace and the Monomaniac”: on two exhibitions, “Giorgio Morandi” at the Tate Modern, and “Giorgio Morandi: The Collectors’ Eye” at the Estorick Collection. In TLS, 13 July, 2001.
  • “Irvine Welsh, his Success, his Patois, his Translators and his ‘Likesay’”. In Recherches Anglaises et Nord-Américaines, Année 1997, Strasbourg, 1999.
  • “The Beam of Sam’s Light”: on Maurice Harmon (ed), No Author Better Served: The Correspondence of Samuel Beckett and Alan Schneider; John Pilling, Beckett before Godot; Phil Baker, Beckett and the Mythology of Psychoanalysis; Mary Bryden, Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God; Richard Begam, Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity; H.Porter Abbott, Beckett Writing Beckett. In TLS, 15 January 1999. Reprinted in Portuguese translation in Best Of, no.1, September 1999.
  • “Pennac et ses traducteurs”. A “table ronde’ with Daniel Pennac, Sylvère Monod, and David Homel. In TransLittérature no.12, Winter 1996.
  • “The art of exaggeration”: on Thomas Bernhard, Extinction. In The Jewish Quarterly 162, Summer 1996.
  • “Pieces of eight! Coquilles Saint-Jacques! Of Parrots, Parents, and Prostheses”. In Tekhnema, 3 (May 1996).
  • “The joys of bad ping-pong”: on the work of Jerome Charyn. In The Observer (London), 20 March, 1994.
  • “Il gioco sospeso sull'abisso”: on Georges Perec. In Georges Perec (ed. Andrea Borsari). Milan: Marcos Y Marcos, 1993.
  • “Listening to Beckett”. In Interfaces: image, texte, langage, 1992.
  • “La bicyclette irlandaise: Flann O'Brien et Samuel Beckett”. In Tropismes no.5, 1991.
  • “Community of Meaning”: on Gary Handwerk, Irony and Ethics in Narrative: from Schlegel to Lacan. In P.N. Review 57.
Interviews
  • "A Conversation with Dan Gunn", conducted by Lydia Davis, Music & Literature online.
  • Interview given to Rhys Tranter on editing Samuel Beckett’s letters: The Quarterly Conversation, March 2013.
  • “Q & A with Dan Gunn from Cahiers Series”: bookculture blog, March 2014. “Entretien avec Dan Gunn” on editing Samuel Beckett’s letters, Florilettres (Fondation de la Poste), juin-juillet 2014.
  • “A Q&A with Dan Gunn” on The Letters of Samuel Beckett Volume 3, in Fifteeneightyfour (Academic Perspectives from Cambridge University Press), September 2014.
  • “A Conversation with Dan Gunn”, conducted by Lydia Davis, Music & Literature online.

Conferences & Lectures

  • November 2016: "Samuel Beckett's Letters". A reading and discussion at a symposium dedicated to Volume IV of the Beckett Letters at King's College, Cambridge.
  • September 2016: “The Significance of Shakespeare”. Paper delivered at a conference on the work of Gabriel Josipovici at the University of Sussex.
  • August 2016: member of a three-person panel on “The Death of the Critic” at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
  • August 2016: workshop on Beckett’s “First Love” at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
  • June 2016: “Beckett and the Visual”. Talk with Conor Carville as part of the Beckett In London Festival, Criterion Theatre.
  • February 2016: three plenary lectures by invitation of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies and the Sir Herbert Grierson Centre for Textual Criticism and Comparative Literary History, at King’s College, University of Aberdeen.
  • August 2015: “Author, Editor, Publisher, Translator”. A panel with Alessandro Gallenzi at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
  • August 2015: “Immigration Song”. A panel at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with Johannes Anyuru.
  • March 2015: “Translating Samuel Beckett.” A talk (with George Craig) at Trinity College, Dublin.
  • March 2015: “Editing as Translation.” A lecture at the Editorial Institute, University of Boston.
  • March  2015: “Samuel Beckett Through his Letters, 1957-1964”. A reading and lecture at Harvard University.
  • March 2015: “Letters, Literature, and Politics”. A conversation with Jean-Michel Rabaté, Slought Gallery, Philadelphia.
  • February 2015: “Editing as Translation”. A lecture at New York University.
  • February 2015: “Samuel Beckett’s Letters”. A talk (with Joseph O’Neill) at Albertine Books, New York.
  • October 2014: “Samuel Beckett Through his Letters, 1957-1964”. A lecture at the Beckett International Foundation, University of Reading.
  • October 2014: “Samuel Beckett”. Participation in a round-table, Cheltenham Literary Festival.
  • July 2012: Four lectures on Samuel Beckett at the University of Tokyo.
  • June 2012: “Samuel Beckett the Correspondent, 1957-1967”. A lecture at the international colloquium Beckett au miroir des interpretations at the Sorbonne Nouvelle.
  • March 2011: “Editing Samuel Beckett’s Letters.” A reading and discussion at Eugene Lang College, New School for Social Research, New York.
  • August 2010: “Samuel Beckett’s Letters.” A reading and presentation with George Craig, the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
  • March 2009 “Samuel Beckett’s Letters.” A reading and discussion with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, Foyle’s Bookshop, London.
  • February 2009: “‘An Effort, Necessarily Feeble, to Express the Nothing’: Samuel Beckett’s Aesthetic Journey as Expressed in his Letters”: to the World Theatre Forum, Harvard University.
  • February 2009: “From Spasm to Indigence: the writer’s duty as revealed through Samuel Beckett’s letters”: to the Fund for Irish Studies, Princeton University.
  • November 2007: “Walking on Air: The Lightness of Muriel Spark”. Muriel Spark Society Annual Lecture at the National Library of Scotland.
  • February 2009: “Aspermatism as threat and reward: Samuel Beckett’s Letters and his Aestheic of Indigence”: to the Modernist Studies Group, University of Pennsylvania. 

  • February 2009: “Ill-Armed with Languages: Samuel Beckett’s letters and his Aesthetic of Indigence”: at the Boston University Editorial Institute.
  • "Samuel Beckett's Correspondence". TLS centenary lecture at the National Portrait Gallery, London, 20 April, 2006.
  • December 2002: “Writing from the Couch”: on Wool-Gathering or How I Ended Analysis at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • November 2002: “Corresponding with Samuel Beckett”, at Reed College, Oregon.
  • March 1999: “Varieties of Scottish Gothic: J.Hogg, R.L.Stevenson, M.Spark”, at an international conference on Lo specchio dei mondi impossibili: Il fantastico nella letteratura e nel cinema, Università di Bologna, Italy.
  • November 1997: “Irvine Welsh: his success, his patois, his translators, and his ‘likesay’”, at an international conference on The Margins of Literature: Scottish, Irish, and Canadian Literature, Université de Strasbourg.
  • June 1996: “La Double Traduction de Comme un roman de Daniel Pennac”. Round table with Sylvère Monod, Daniel Pennac, David Homel, in the Mairie du 13ème arrondissement, organised by the Assises de la Traduction Littéraire d’Arles.
  • March 1995: “The Scientific Unsayable: Limits of Scientific Discourse in Italo Calvino and Primo Levi”, at the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference, Athens, Georgia.
  • March 1993: “The space for Silence in Works by Aharon Appelfeld, Samuel Beckett, and Georges Perec”, at the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference, Bloomington, Indiana.

Research Areas

  • British, Irish, French, and Italian fiction of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries
  • Shakespeare
  • Samuel Beckett, Marcel Proust
  • Translation theory and practice
  • Scholarly editing